Florida Trail Association

Board of Directors

David Waldrop, President

Network Engineer, Lake Wales Charter Schools
Lake Wales, FL

David is a graduate of USF with a BS in Engineering Technology and is employed by the Lake Wales Charter School District. He has been a member of the Florida Trail Association since 2005 having joined after working with members of the Heartland Chapter doing trail maintenance. He is a section leader for the Kissimmee River section of the FNST.

Pete Durnell, VP Governance

Retired, USAF
DeLand, FL

Pete graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a BA in Psychology and has an MA in International Relations from the University of Arkansas.  After graduating from Miami, he joined the US Air Force and served a 20-year career there with a focus on Intelligence.  After serving at various locations worldwide with the USAF, including living and working in England for several years, Pete returned to the US in 1994 and joined the FTA.

Pete became active with the Central Florida Chapter serving as an Activity Leader, Activity Coordinator, and Chapter Chair.  He helped with the transition of the FTA Footprint from a newspaper format to a magazine format and served as co-editor and editor.  He joined the Board in 2000 and served as a Director, Vice President of Administration and President until 2011.  He has now rejoined the board.

Pam Hale, Treasurer

Financial Analyst
Palm Bay, FL

Pam has been an FTA member since 1978 and has served in a number of volunteer capacities including chapter officer, activity leader, section leader, state Director, VP-Administration and Treasurer. Together with her husband and two sons, she put in many hours developing and maintaining trails in the Central Florida area. She is also an avid hiker, logging miles on trail from the U.S. desert southwest to the mountains of Europe. She is a Leave-No Trace Master Educator.

Pam is a graduate of Rollins College with a degree in Business Administration and minors in accounting and organizational communication. She has been employed with Harris Corporation for over 30 years in various accounting, finance and business operations roles, currently as a lead financial analyst on federal government programs.

Deborah Schroth, Secretary

Child Law, P.A.
Orange Park, FL

Deborah has been a member of the North Florida TrailBlazers for a number of years now, and participates in hikes, maintenance work, and has volunteered for IDidAHike for the past three years. She is proud to have a National Scenic Trail in Florida, and knows the importance of managing this resource.  She is a Florida public interest attorney interested in environmental matters with experience in both state and federal regulatory matters.

For almost 25 years she has worked for non-profit law firms, gaining public advocacy and litigation skills.  She is experienced in grant writing, and for a number of years was tasked with raising the money for her own salary.

Ralph Hancock, VP Trails

Ralph joined Florida Trail Association in 1991 after learning of FTA on a day hike in Myakka State Park and has served as Trail Master, Section Leader, Trail Coordinator, in addition to two terms as Chapter Chair. He joined the Board of Directors in 2008 and served for 4 years. He has recently rejoined the Board. Currently he is Section Leader of Green Swamp West. He is also a member of the Appalachian Trial Conservancy and has backpacked over 1,700 miles of the AT.

Ralph graduated from Georgia Southern College in 1964 with a degree in Business Administration. After college joining the Army and later Air Force Reserves. Worked as a sales representative for two national manufacturers in the hardware industry, later joining the family metal finishing business. In 1990 along with a partner opened his own shop until selling it and retiring 2015.

Jan S. Wells, PhD, AICP, Director

Lakeland, FL

Jan is a native Floridian and graduate of Florida State University. However, she spent most of her professional life in New Jersey where she taught urban planning at Rutgers University, specializing in housing, land use and transportation. Her major focus of research concerned transit oriented development and pedestrian issues.

Jan is an avid hiker and in addition to being active in FTA since she returned to Florida.  Jan is the Chapter Chair for the FTA’s Heartland Chapter.  She is a long time member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, life member of the New Jersey-New York Trail Conference, member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Carolina Mountain Club. She loves to travel and has hiked widely in the US and around the world. Jan also serves as a docent at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

Greg Knecht, Director

The Nature Conservancy
Tallahassee, FL

Greg was born and raised in Winter Haven Florida and has always enjoyed the outdoors. After graduating from FSU with a degree in Biology, he spent 20 years working for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection principally on South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Projects. In 2012 he joined The Nature Conservancy as the Director of Protection where his primary responsibility is working with private landowners to protect natural lands through various means including conservation easements.

He’s an avid cyclist, hiker and kayaker and absolutely loves Florida’s diverse natural areas.

Bill Turman, Director

Oviedo, FL

Bill was born and raised in central Virginia and as a Boy Scout attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He enjoyed many backpacking trips on the AT. A graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Civil / Structural Engineering, he began his career as a construction engineer, then design engineer with Dominion Resources / Virginia Power. A unique work highlight included underwater inspection activities as part of the civil engineering dive team.

Bill moved to central Florida in 1990 when he took an engineering position with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he helped develop and implement gas turbine and combined cycle power plants. His responsibilities increased as he progressed into the positions of group and department manager within Westinghouse and later Siemens Power Generation when Siemens purchased Westinghouse. A career highlight was living in Germany, performing the integration manager duties.

A member of the Florida Trail Association since 1991, he has backpacked and hiked many of the trails in central Florida. Since retiring, Bill has been active with the Central Florida Chapter, helping to perform trail maintenance activities, acting as an activity leader, chapter chair, and representative at the Chapter Council. He is an avid hiker, cyclist and kayaker, and enjoys traveling the country with his A-frame camper, visiting the National Parks.

Darryl Updegrove, Director

Panama City, FL

Darryl was born in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in electrical engineer, he has spent the last 31 years working for the Department of Defense, first in Virginia, and now in Panama City, Florida.  He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University in 1998, and Master of Business Administration from FSU in 2012.

He joined the local chapter of the FTA in 2016, and has since become co-chair, chair (current), activity coordinator (current), and activity leader, and been certified as a sawyer.

He enjoys cycling and hiking.  He is active in his church, where he plays the electric bass for worship services.

Shellie Johnson, Director


Board Member Responsibilities